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October 11, 2013

Lester, Barner and Edwards doubtful for Sunday, Olsen probable

The Panthers want to go with the hot hand in the secondary, so long as his hamstring will allow it.

Rookie strong safety Robert Lester did not participate in practice Friday and is listed as doubtful for Sunday's game at Minnesota. Lester has battled a hamstring injury all week and has not practiced.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera indicated it'd be a game-day decision for Lester, who has tallied an interception in each of his first two NFL games. If Lester cannot play, former Pro Bowler Quintin Mikell, who's returning from a foot injury suffered in Week 2 at Buffalo, will get the start.

"I really like what I saw from Quintin those first two games,” Rivera said. “He’s been involved, he’s kept himself mentally fit, his conditioning he’s worked on a lot. And the other thing is the situation, depending on the circumstances, (reserve safety) Colin Jones has to be ready to play just in case."

Running back Kenjon Barner also sat out of practice with a foot injury. Barner sprained his foot in the preseason and returned to practice last week, making his NFL debut last Sunday at Arizona. But he complained about soreness earlier this week and Friday was unable to participate in practice. He's listed as doubtful.

Defensive tackle Dwan Edwards hasn't practice in weeks with an injured hamstring, the same injury he's been battling since the preseason. He's doubtful, as well. Colin Cole would get the start in place of Edwards.

Rivera said a few days of rest for tight end Greg Olsen is just what he needed. The tight end injured his foot during the Arizona game and missed practice earlier in the week but took all his necessary reps on Friday and is probable for Sunday.

--Jonathan Jones

Posted by Observer Sports on October 11, 2013 at 01:35 PM | Permalink


Barner is another draft pick wasted just like Kugbila. Dave Gettleman whiffed on these two picks. Barner should be placed on IR just like Kugbila as he is not helping the team. Both of them should be cut in the off season. It makes you wonder about Gettleman's drafting ability. He has a mixed bag of picks so far. The Panthers need healthy players that can help the team win and not be walking mash units.

Posted by: Whitecomet77 | Oct 11, 2013 1:51:43 PM

^^^ you have to give more than a year to know for sure. plenty of rookies miss the year and then have solid careers.

arizona's first rounder from UNC missed the year and he's supposed to be one of the best centers ever to play. he's not a bust because he's out.

barner though....is missing his 1 opportunity as a late pick. had he been healthy, he could have gotten a ton of reps. stewart comes back and those reps are GONE. only thing he has going for him: he's a gettleman pick so gettleman will show bias to him and surely trade stewart.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 11, 2013 1:55:54 PM

Lester played 3 years under Saban at Alabama so he had to have something going for him for Saban to stick with him. With Godfrey out for the season, we'll likely see more of him.

Posted by: bill | Oct 11, 2013 2:14:59 PM

Remember it was said that Coach Dean Smith was the only person in the country that could hold Michael Jordan under 20 points a game.

We drafted Cam Newton. He started his first game. His first year he set every first year quarterback record that ever existed.

The the Panther coaches took over and decided to improve him. The robbed him of every instinctive move he would make.

Quit blaming Cam Newton. He needs to leave the Panthers and go somewhere they appreciate him.

He can still be the best quarterback in the NFL as soon as he goes somewhere else.

Posted by: John Weems | Oct 11, 2013 2:16:19 PM

john^^, we also went 6-10 in Cam's rookie year. Opposing coaches can slow or stop what Cam did his 1st season. I do think Cam will be fine as he continues to adapt to the NFL game.

Posted by: bill | Oct 11, 2013 2:23:17 PM

^^^^ 6-10 while scoring 25.375 ppg with thomas davis and jon beason out and who started at defensive tackle?

legedu naanee was the 2nd receiver with david gettis out and lafell coming on late.

margin of loss in those 10 losses: 7,7,5,3,14,3,27,14,8,28* the game the saints decided to run up the score in the season finale to get as many offensive records as possible.

only 4 games all season did our offense score less than 20 points and 3 of those games were 16,17 and 17.

the guy has a point. Cam came in with confidence and had success. What's happened since has not been an upward trend. he HAD cut down on turnovers prior to last sunday's debacle.

Cam would have been great with John Fox. Fox would have been running the ball non stop, let cam take it in short yardage situations, run all the option BS he wanted to, play action, bootlegs, and most importantly......give him a defensive scheme that wins games for him. couple that with knowing when to kick, when not to, when to go for it, when not to, when to call timeouts and when not to, when to throw the challenge flag and when not to, etc. etc. etc.

1 guy made the playoffs and beat the steelers with tim tebow.
his replacement can't make the playoffs with a stacked team and cam newton.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 11, 2013 2:50:36 PM

anybody notice Beason had 11 tackles for the Giants last night?

Posted by: Isaiah | Oct 11, 2013 3:20:53 PM

guys please remember that when Cam came into the league NOBODY was running the read option. Everyone wants him to go back to that cause he had so much success, but the success came because nobody had seen that in the NFL. Now its almost commonplace. Watch the defense on every one of the Panthers ovvensive snaps. over 90% of the time the other team has their fastest linebacker doing nothing but spying Cam. Just that alone has taken away a lot of what was so amazing in his rookie year.

Don't get me wrong I love Cam and I do think the coaches for this team are not using him right and trying to change him into something he is not. I'm just making a point that its not quite as easy as just saying "lets just go back to what you did your rookie year" cause the defenses have adjusted.

Posted by: Chris | Oct 11, 2013 3:28:15 PM


haven't even read it yet but it just got posted and Barnwell is usually fairly inciteful and detailed

Posted by: Isaiah | Oct 11, 2013 3:37:56 PM


i agree with what you're saying but it's not just about read option. it's about letting the guy make plays. regular draw plays, sneaks, rollouts, whatever. the dude is a PLAYMAKER and they aren't doing enough to help him.

on one hand, they aren't running enough to limit his exposure to hits and sacks. and on the other hand, they aren't letting HIM run enough.

i guarantee you he's more injury susceptible inside the pocket than out of it. it's different for him than an RG3 or mike vick. those guys aren't 6-5 250.

the more they ask dude to take 7 step drops for deep pass plays......the more sacks, the more fumbles, the more interceptions, the more 3 and outs.

shula had a great game plan game 1. rivera hated it and scrapped it. awesome.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 11, 2013 4:02:32 PM

@Isaiah Great article.

Posted by: InCamsCorner | Oct 11, 2013 4:06:51 PM

isiaih it was 12, 11 solos.....check the previous page.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 11, 2013 4:07:08 PM

that grantland article is dead on. I still believe in Cam. I just don't think RR and Shula are helping that much

Posted by: big fan | Oct 11, 2013 8:08:10 PM

that grantland article was talking about hurney leaving the panthers in "cap hell" which immediately discredits ANY "sports reporter" or columnist who mentions it.

he also said steve smith is a "below average number 1 receiver". really..........name 10 dudes better in the league. you can name guys who had a better 4 game stretch to start the year, but not 4 better dudes.

everything else was close, but those are 2 major gaffs.

cam hasn't been the problem entirely......but he holds onto the ball entirely too long and that kills a ton of drives with DEEP sacks. you can't take 7 step drops and sit back there. part of that is the coach calling those plays, especially when in field goal range....but part of that is on cam.

grantland dude also misstated the facts on the buffalo game and also failed to mention that the read option was NOT working early last year and that was why they started to get more conventional.......when they started winning. simmons needs to edit this guy's material before publishing. hurting his brand.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 11, 2013 9:26:05 PM

Your offense can't rely mostly on running (read option or whatever) in the NFL. You have to have a multi-faceted passing attack/threat as well as running to be truly effective consistently. Thus the attempt to develop Cam's passing game.

Another reason is to minimize risk of QB injury, although being hammered in the pocket multiple times can bring this on as well. Cam needs to fine tune his skills ("passing receivers open", quicker reads- checkdowns, clock management when ahead or behind, etc). His 4th qtr game needs work.

If he can improve these significantly, he'll be one hackuva NFL QB. I think he can eventually become that.

Posted by: bill | Oct 11, 2013 9:54:29 PM

Great Grantland article. This says it all;

"Panthers fans would be well advised to wait on Newton; he's the guy holding up a middling offense, not the other way around."

Posted by: D.W.G. | Oct 12, 2013 6:34:54 AM

The coaches are too worried about Newton getting hurt. Cam won't win games as a drop back passer, he must be a serious running threat, and not be in such a hurry to get down when a tackler approaches. He may get hurt, but it's the way he wins games and the way he's always won games.
LaFell must be a practice phenom because he continues to start and not produce. He's also the quickest to the sidelines in the league. I've never seen a player so afraid to get hit.

Posted by: Ben | Oct 12, 2013 11:32:32 AM

Clean house DG! There's PLENTY of QB's in this draft who can throw accurate ,and learn a NFL offense unlike Vince Young 2.0!

Posted by: TWIGGY | Oct 12, 2013 7:38:15 PM

Cam will NOT be a Panther after this year mark my words!

Posted by: Panthers1995 | Oct 12, 2013 7:39:32 PM

VY 2.0 Lol that describes him except VY has a better win %!

Posted by: QB | Oct 12, 2013 7:41:01 PM

"DG took 7 seconds before saying Cam has to win NOW" Translation: Bye Bye Cam ,so all you Cam lovers from Auburn can burn your jersey's like VY's fans did after he flamed out!

Posted by: QB | Oct 12, 2013 7:45:12 PM

@ charlottean I'm sure you can get a Cam boo boo towel on eBay after he's canned this year...I told you he's no NFL QB!

Posted by: seenthisb4 | Oct 12, 2013 7:47:39 PM

After Gettleman made the "7 seconds" statement I knew Cam's days were numbered here.

Posted by: John Fox | Oct 12, 2013 7:49:39 PM

I agree with the he's leaving idea ,because of the depth in this year's QB crop which most pundits say is the best in a decade ,and could have 6-8 starter's in the class ,so DG knows how the NYG were built ,and from the comments in the 7 second article I believe he will trade Cam while he still has value just like Beason ,but get a 2nd or 3rd round pick.

Posted by: Nick Saban | Oct 12, 2013 8:01:24 PM

another day of evidence to the contrary for you wise guys.

he even overcame the most asinine 4th down decisions in the first quarter.

there's no way that dude isn't a panther. he isn't an unrestricted free agent for 2 more years and they can still use the franchise tag that year. that means unless the guy can't walk anymore......he's the quarterback for this year, 2014, 2015, and 2016 whether he wants to be or not. and that's assuming they don't get a longer extension done after this season when he becomes eligible for one.

Posted by: charlottean | Oct 13, 2013 5:14:49 PM

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